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Back in the 1980’s, there was a very popular lodge called Cunard Paradise Hotel. It sat on the tranquil west coast of Barbados, fronted by Paradise Beach. I found this old article from 1988 that sets the scene perfectly. Accordingly, it was thrumming with activity, with guests partaking in watersports of all kinds and riding horses along the beach.
Sadly, the hotel closed in 1992 and its history only went downhill from there. Shortly after closing, the world recognized brand Four Seasons gobbled up the property. Preparations were in place for it to undergo a multi-million dollar renovation, with plans for a 110 room, 5-star hotel with an additional 35 private villas on the grounds. But the project ran into more difficulties, ultimately running aground in 2008. The incomplete hotel has sat abandoned ever since.
As with most things, there are pros and cons to the abandonment. On the one hand, Paradise Beach is now a deserted beach that you’re almost guaranteed to have all to yourself. On the other hand, the forsaken remnants of the hotel make it feel a bit more like ‘paradise lost’.
Paradise Beach gently slopes into a sea of tranquil, turquoise water. The ocean floor is nothing but soft sand, making it peaceful and perfect for swimming. There are a few shallow areas on each end with rock formations, but I wouldn’t rate it as one of the most interesting places to snorkel in Barbados.
Since there aren’t many visitors to Paradise Beach, that also means there aren’t any vendors for watersports. If you see a jet ski pass by, you can often wave them down if you’re interested in a ride. Otherwise, the lack of vendors and watersports make this one of the quietest beaches around.
While there are no restaurants or bars directly on Paradise Beach, La Cabane at Batts Rock Beach is within reasonable walking distance. The restaurant uses fresh and local organic ingredients, cooked in a Mediterranean style. Though I have not been there yet myself, it gets great reviews and is almost always packed. They also host live music regularly in the evenings, which attracts both locals and tourists alike.
Be sure to look out for the Standing Stones at Paradise Beach! These are carefully created by a local named Philip King, and they are a beautiful display of art and balance. I love coming back regularly to see how the structures change over time. It’s also a stunning spot for unique sunset photos!
There are no public facilities at Paradise Beach, nor any places to rent beach chairs. Unfortunately, there is also no longer a designated access point, though the entire coastline from Brandons Beach to Batts Rock Beach is walkable.
Walking south from Batts Rock Beach is the quickest way to get to Paradise Beach. However, those who enjoy long walks on the beach can park at Brighton Beach and head north. If you go that route, you can also check out a local hotspot (literally) known as “The Hot Pot” along the way!
Personally, I love having a beach mostly to myself, and Paradise Beach always seems to be much quieter than the surrounding beaches. In my opinion, it’s definitely worth the extra walk. For those who prefer having facilities or more upkept surroundings though, this may not be the beach for you.
There is a power station nearby, which occasionally puffs out thick, black smoke. And behind the beach lies the sad remains of the unfinished building site, now riddled with graffiti (albeit some is quite vibrant and pretty) and trash from loiterers. But regardless, the beach itself is beautiful. Simply put, if you want a quiet and private beach day in Barbados, Paradise Beach is, well… Paradise.
+ Peaceful and quiet
+ Rarely many (if any) others around
+ Calm waters, perfect for swimming
– No nearby facilities or rental chairs
– Next to a power station
– In front of an abandoned property with some graffiti and trash
– No direct access point
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